The Forum on Microbial Threats was created in 1996 at the request of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to provide a structured opportunity for discussion and scrutiny of critical, and possibly contentious, scientific and policy issues related to research on and the prevention, detection, surveillance, and responses to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases in humans, plants, and animals, as well as the microbiome in health and disease. The Forum brings together leaders from government agencies, industry, academia, and nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to facilitate cross-sector dialogue and collaboration through public debate and private consultation to stimulate original thinking about the most pressing issues across the spectrum of microbial threats.
Despite decades of progress, the need for the Forum on Microbial Threats remains. Problems such as MERS, Ebola, Chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever, and antibiotic resistance demonstrate how the issue of emerging infections is global and unrelenting. The drivers are ever more pervasive, and the consequences—human, social, and economic—loom larger than ever.
The Forum convenes several times each year to identify and discuss key problems and strategies in the area of microbial threats. To supplement the perspectives and expertise of its members, the Forum also holds public workshops to engage a wide range of experts, members of the public, and the policy community. All workshops are summarized in high-quality, scholarly workshop proceedings that are available for free download from the National Academies Press.
The Forum on Microbial Threats is part of the National Academies' Board on Global Health.
The One Health Action Collaborative (OHAC) is an ad hoc activity associated with the Forum on Microbial Threats at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The action collaborative is an opportunity to engage a community of participants who are interested in contributing to a detailed ongoing exploration and information sharing related to One Health topics and accelerating the implementation of a One Health approach in the field. Participants come from multiple sectors and disciplines associated with One Health.
Among their activities, individual members of OHAC have collaborated to produce a National Academy of Medicine Perspectives Paper on "Core Competencies in One Health Education: What Are We Missing?" that was released in June 2018.
The work of the action collaborative does not necessarily represent the views of any one organization, the Forum, or the National Academies and is not subjected to the review procedures of, nor are they a report or product of, the National Academies.
Cecilia Mundaca Shah, M.D., Dr.P.H., Forum Director
V. Ayano Ogawa, S.M., Program Officer
Natalie Perou Lubin, Research Assistant